HobbyBoss 1/700 Arizona to Pennsylvania conversion

the Baron

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Just to prove that I still am actually working on the Pennsy, here is a quick update...

Construction is at the same stage as in my previous post, but in the meantime, I have begun applying the final colors. I went through a little detour regarding the colors, by the way, because of a mistake I made. I misidentified the color she wore in 1935 as haze gray. I asked a buddy of mine, Bob Ciccone, who is an experienced ship modeler, for his preference, maker and color, and picked up Testor's Floquil Southern Pacific Lettering Gray. I applied this to the model, and then looked closely, because it looked a lot darker than the Pennsylvania appeared in photos of the time. I did some digging and found that it was Standard Navy Gray that she wore in the Thirties, a much lighter color.

A couple of new requests on the Web brought new suggestions, especially White Ensign Models' specific version of
Standard Navy Gray--thank you, everyone, who replied with that advice. In the meantime, I went into my paint locker and got a rough equivalent--a little darker, perhaps--Tamiya's AS-16 Light Gray (USAF)--and that's what you see applied here:



I also made some minor touch-ups, including some rhinoplasty-if you look closely at her bow, you can see two small
holes which I drilled open:



Those are the hawse pipes, if I'm not mistaken, guides for the hawsers used to moor the ship to a dock. They are very visible in most photos, because of sunlight passing through. HobbyBoss did not mold them. I've drilled them a little too low on the bow, but when all's said and done, they'll look OK.

And here, I've begun applying a deck tan, starting on the after deck and the deck house:



This is a Model Master acrylic, applied very thinly by hand, though a little thicker than a wash:



I'm applying such thin paint, to avoid getting too thick of a coat and obscuring the molded hatch covers and other
details. I was able to proceed with painting the decks, after solving another riddle through my research, and that was whether the deck formed by the roof of the deck house--the deck house contains the 5" guns that you see protruding along her sides--was covered with teak as her fore- and main decks were, or if they were steel. In the Thirties, at least, they were covered in teak. I'll go over this coat with a lighter shade, too, Andrea's acrylic beige.

The deck house deck also had a railing, like the main and after decks did. Those will come in the next stage, after
I'm done painting, and I start applying the photo-etch.

I really do want to get the construction and detailing done, so I can tackle the base. I've never done a water base
before, so I'm excited to try it.

Criticism and comments are welcome, as always, and thanks for looking!
 

Papermodder

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She's coming along nicely Baron.
I love seeing the work done in this small scale. A skill set I am still learning.

Jim
 

the Baron

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Thanks for the kind comments, guys, here is a quick update on the latest progress...

I'm applying the lighter tan color that I referred to last week, Andrea's Beige (AC-something, I forget the number). It's a very light tan, and in fact, I used this as the base for the pilot's face on my MaK Raptor build.

I'm applying it as a thick wash. Instead of the "skim milk" comparison you hear, think, "whole milk" ;)



Applied over the darker tan undercoat, you can see brush marks:



So, I'm applying this in several passes, till everything is evened out:



I made the mixture using about 75% water, 25% paint. I also began applying some Tamiya flat black acrylic to the top of the stack:



Once I have the deck color applied consistently, I'll install the turrets and the secondary battery, and then it's time to attack the photo etch. Tips on that process are definitely welcome, since I've never used PE before. I'm planning on using the boiling water technique to make the parts more pliable.

As always, comments and criticisms are welcome, and thanks for looking!
 

Tailor

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Looking good!
Keep it going!
Cheers,
Guido
 

the Baron

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Servus, Guido, und danke sehr!
 

the Baron

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Update on the Pennsylvania--painting is temporarily on hold, as I changed my mind about the paints I'm using. Instead of trying to match colors out of my paint box, I've ordered Standard Navy Gray and Deck Teak directly from White Ensign Models. Should take about 2 weeks or so for the package to arrive. I just had to see, once and for all, because the gray I used still looked too dark. Meanwhile, I'm focusing on the Essex, and some figures to paint.
 

model maker jnr

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Nice you have great attention to detail I will be following the rest of this build.
 

Tailor

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Good choice of colours!
Have you worked with WEM paints before?
If not be aware: You need a good white spirit for thinning such as the one from AK interactive. You can not blend or thin lager portions for later use: the use to gum up with the pigments being separated.
Use your airbrush at a medium pressure setting to avoid the colour drying in mid-air.
Cheers,
Guido
 

the Baron

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Thanks for the heads-up, Guido, no, I've never worked with WEM's paints before. I have ordinary mineral spirits, and also lacquer thinner, for general thinning. I'll probably use the mineral spirits, unless they won't work well with WEM. I'm planning on the same sequence as I followed with the existing colors, that is, to airbrush the gray, and then apply the deck color by hand.

My current deck color looks OK, but the gray just keeps bothering me as a little too dark. It should look almost white, under bright light (or natural daylight).
 

Tailor

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I am glad to help!
I gave up on the "proper Colour" discussions about 5 years ago: I went to the Open Ship day at the Kiel Week 2008. There was a nice assembly of ships from 5 or 6 different navies in the harbour. The weather was ranging from light showers to brilliant sunshine. Looking at the ships from a distance, it was nothing short of enlightning to see how the ships colours changed from almost blue to almost white according to the changes of light.
Another thing is that we refer to old photo material. In such old material we know nothing about the flim, the paper, the photo negative, the lighting time, the camera, the chemicals that were used to process the photo. As well, those photos were replicated for print or worse for internet presentation. On top there is the scale effect. There are way too many vaiables to make a distinct choice of colour.
Best is indeed to following your feeling of what it should look like and be happy as soon as the look feels right. I hope that the WEM paint will fulfil your expectations.
Cheers!
 

the Baron

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I know what you mean about correct colors. My advice to others is to check sources and research carefully. Following my own advice, these are my references for the Pennsy in the time frame I'm building.

Here she is, underway in the Bay of Panama, I believe:



and here, apparently locking on for gunnery exercises, off Panama in 1934:



I'm going to place her on a base as she appears in that second photo..

These photos illustrate the issue I'm having with gray. You can see that it appears white in the black & white photos, which is generally confirmed in literature from the time. I just need to get it a hair lighter than the shade I have on her now, it's just a touch too dark. I had a can of light grey primer that would have been perfect, but I used it up, and the maker no longer offers that shade. But White Ensign is my last pass, because I want to get this kit done.

It'll be easier with my Essex. I'm building her as she appeared on her first tour, in the summer of 1943, and I have a jar of Tamiya blue gray that is perfect for the base color.
 

ibuild

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Interesting. Why convert it? (I think it is a cool idea, just curious)
 

the Baron

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ibuild said:
Interesting. Why convert it? (I think it is a cool idea, just curious)
Thanks, ibuild, good question. She was a favorite of mine, since I was a kid and built the Revell kit. I'm from PA, so she's "our" ship. She was nicknamed "The Keystone Battlewagon", in the early years. Plus, she was able to get back in the fight and get in her licks.

I'm learning a lot as I build this, about planning a ship build, and techniques to use, and if I were to build this one again, I would apply some extra effort to correct what are very soft or simple details. I'd plate the deck house with styrene, for example, and drill smaller portholes. Likewise, I'd correct the windows on the bridge levels and the fighting tops, clean them up and make them square. I'll probably get another and finish her as the Arizona, also from the mid-Thirties, happier times.
 

the Baron

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It looks like I forgot to post this, when I posted at Agape...

Hello, everyone, here's an update on my Pennsylvania build. I had some other things I had to attend to for the past month, but I got back at it this week.

If you recall, I learned that White Ensign Models has colors in their catalog for the Standard Navy Gray and Teak that I needed for the finish. I ordered them direct from WEM's website, and a couple of weeks ago, they arrived:



I was struck first of all at the tiny, tiny tins. I think this is what our Commonwealth cousins are more familiar with, especially Humbrol fans. But the volume is comparable to smaller jars from Testor's or Model Master.

Now, my purpose was to repaint the Pennsy, using colors as close to the original Standard Navy Gray from 1935 as possible. But when I compared the WEM paints with the colors I used from my Farbkastl (Austrian for "paint grab-bag", roughly), they looked pretty much the same. The gray is Tamiya's AS-16 Light Gray (USAF), I think, and the teak is Andrea's Beige (acrylic). So, I decided to stick with the colors I applied and not to repaint her. I will use the WEM colors on my next 1930's USN project, the Saratoga. I also have the new Maryland kit on my wish list.

So, here she is, with the basic colors more or less complete:



I have painted the top of her stack and the plates at her bow, protecting her deck from the anchor chains, Tamiya's XF-69 NATO Black:



I had originally used XF-1 Flat Black, but it looked too dark in this scale. That's my usual experience with this color, anyway, and it's why I started using NATO Black.

I have some touching up to do around those bow plates, and on the various metal hatches amid all the teak on her main deck. I also have to apply the boot top, or what we land lubbers refer to as the waterline. That will be visible amid gentle ocean swells, when I finish the base. I might have to add the lower hull, too, because in some photos, you can see the lower hull as swells pass along her hull.

The next task is to add the various small items--her deck guns, her boats, cranes, and then start with the PE.

As always, criticisms and comments are welcome, and thanks for looking!
 

TRM

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No criticisms here...she is looking great!! I suppose the lower hull would show...depending on how low her draft is and how rough the water is...just a thought! ;D Keep it coming!! ;)
 

the Baron

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Evening, everybody, here is a quick update on my latest progress on the Pennsylvania. This time, I corrected a procedural mistake that I made in the sequence to paint the model.

Last time, I mentioned that I need to paint the Pennsy's boot topping, the black line along the ship's waterline. When I mount the model and finish the base, the surface of the waves will reveal the ship's boot topping at various places, following the swells. Well, on reflection, I should have shot the model with black first, applied a thin strip of masking tape, and then painted the light gray on the hull. Here's what I had to do now, to paint the boot topping:



Basically, I had to build a tent around the model, with the tape revealing the thin strip for the boot topping. I painted the boot with Tamiya flat black from the rattlecan aircraft color series. It took a couple passes, because of the shapes and angles at the bow and stern. And here she is, after the paint was applied, drying:



So, lesson learned. When I get to painting the Essex, I will paint this first, then apply the main hull colors.

And here are some views of some additional color I added. In this color scheme, with vertical surfaces painted Standard Navy Gray, all horizontal deck surfaces not covered with teak were painted a dark gray:



I used my Andrea Slate Gray for this, which thins with water and goes on very easily:



Relevant deck surfaces were all decks on the superstructure, and the platforms of her fore- and mainmasts:



Of course, I had to do a pass after applying the slate gray, to touch up where I got it on vertical surfaces. For that purpose, I opened up the White Ensign Models Standard Navy Gray and used my finest brush for touch-ups:



I also touched up along the boot topping where there was paint creep under the masking tape, and around the anchor plates at the bow. and I touched up the various metal deck hatches. And so now I'm ready for the photo-etch. Or really, I think it's time to make the base, attach the model, then attach the various bits of equipment like the boats, cranes, catapults, and then apply the PE. The principle I've learned is to work from the centerline out, and minimize having to reach back in among all manner of tiny bits.

As always, comments and criticisms are welcome, and thanks for looking!
 

TRM

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She is looking pretty there!!! Keep it coming!! Can't wait to see this on the base!!
 

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